Thoughts & Thangs

Happy New Year | Updates

It’s been a very long time since I’ve written. Anything. But it’s a new year, America is starting things off with chaos, we’re still in a panini press and chaos is constant so misewell get on it and rebuild my life’s schedule.

There’s a writer deep down and maintaining my blog again will help me build my writing strength. And even if I got zero reads, I did it for me.

Professional Life

Let’s see, the last post I shared was in July and since then, so much has changed, yet much has remained the same. I am still living in Yangon, Myanmar as a school counselor but at a different school. My new school is bigger, American-curriculum and I have a lot of new responsibilities. I am enjoying this opportunity of growth and challenge. There’s so much space for me to be my best professional self. I truly enjoy working in my field and I’m glad that I made the leap and that in the midst of the growing chaos, my new school wasn’t like “nah, we good. Sorry.” I’ve heard stories of rescinded job offers.

Because I chose to stay in country at the end of the 2019-20 school year, my onboarding and transition to my new school was in-person to an extent. Many of my high school colleagues are still in the US or other home countries where they have to work through the night to be on schedule with us here in Yangon. Initially my school was one of very few that started the school year with face-to-face learning of any kind. We had a hybrid model for all of 11 days where some students were in school, some teachers and myself in school, while many others were virtual via Zoom. But by the end of August, all students were learning virtually and by the end of September, we had to work from home as per government stay-at-home orders.

Yangon Covid Life

Wearing masks is more common than wearing a bra these days. Back in the summer, things were looking on the up and up. Some of my friends traveled a bit to beach locations in the country, traveled with their partners around pagoda sites. We had a few outings at restaurants…even a paint and sip. Then we got our second wave. It felt worst than the initial lockdown in March for some reason. Sometime around November, people just stopped giving much of a crap and you could really see the attitude of concern towards the virus change as streets began to get more crowded.

Friends and colleagues here socialized in small circles to have some sense of normalcy. Sometimes I would go so long without direct human interaction and then when I saw friends it was like oh yea, this is good. Humans, yay! Some people are more strict than others, not socializing with anyone, at all. That’s hard. For November and December, I met in social gatherings twice each month. That’s actually not bad at all but when you go from seeing people everyday to 2x a month…whew! Of course you see people when I’m out having to pay a bill or buy groceries, but it’s not entirely the same.

Anywho, the only flights in and out are relief flights. Allegedly domestic travel resumed mid December but many places even with negative tests before flying, require quarantine of 2 weeks so for educators, it’s not necessarily reasonable. Although I have seen some folx manage to get out of Yangon to the beach.

Many businesses that rely on in-person clients have pivoted to delivery and online shopping while some businesses tanked because it just wasn’t viable for them. The Facebook ads have become my friend as I have bought everything from poptarts to bedsheets on there.

Staying Sane

These days “going to work” means going from the bedroom into my office space that I’ve decorated with plants, a fake beach backdrop and a corner to paint and be creative. I’ve continued my puzzling habit and have found some larger 500 pc and 1000 pc puzzles to work on over a longer time period. I attend a weekly virtual HIIT workout group which is about the only exercise I’m semi-consistent with. As I rebuild my life schedule, I plan to devote hobby/down time to writing, language learning and reading books because I fell all the way off with that goal (and the majority of last year’s vision board goals). I have enough things to keep me busy but having some time to just chill and scroll or watch tv to numb away the day is essential. And hobbies don’t replace being able to hangout with friends, chat with colleagues or being away from my husband all this time.

I haven’t adopted any pets of my own, although I’m a pet godmother now and it was very tempting. I’ll stick to visiting my fur godchild for the time and trying to keep these plants alive.

Future

I have a habit of ghosting my blog and then resurfacing promising that I’ll be more consistent and then I go ghost again. I’m going to do my best to be more consistent. Things don’t change until things change. Today’s blog post is at the very least, a good first step.

A student rendering of husbae and I during his visit Dec. 2019.

If you’re reading this, drop a comment and share with me how you remain consistent in the things you want to do?

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